Picnic baskets at the ready

THIS year’s Electric Picnic is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

THIS year’s Electric Picnic is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

The cream of musical talent taking to the stages is sure to entertain but there will be plenty of other fun, including a host of arts, theatre, food, comedy, discussion and much more.

Preparations were well underway this week in Stradbally for the festival which is now in its 8th year. Up to 30,000 tickets have already been sold, and organsiers are expecting day tickets for Sunday (introduced for the first time this year) to sell out.

Fans can expect to hear sets from Arcade Fire, The Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Underworld, Jimmy Cliff, DJ Shadow, Public Enemy, The Family Stone, The Charlatans, The Rapture and many more. As well as the huge line up of music, fans can also head to the Body and Soul to relax and chill out, as well as a host of other stages including the Salty Dog, the Comedy Stage, Mindfield, Bacardi B Live Bar and Trenchtown.

Laois band, the Little Smoke take to the stage at 3pm on Friday in the Cosby Arena. The local lads won their chance to perform at the Laois Bands for Electric Picnic competition which is now in its second year.

Robbie Butler, site manager of the festival said that tickets sales are expected to be as good as last year.

“Ticket sales for the day passes are selling well, there are a lot of thirty somethings who came to the festival in other years wanting to come back with their kids for the day.”

He also spoke about the festival’s relationship with the local community, saying that the relationship is very good.

“There is an impact to the local community but we address and deal with the relevant issues each year. There is a very open door between us and the residents. There is huge support from the local community and we have local artists and musicians taking part.” The relationship with Gardai is also a huge factor for the festival.

“Our relationship with the Gardai is excellent, they have had the same team for the past few years. This would be nothing without local support.” He also praised Thomas Cosby, owner of Cosby Estate. “Thomas supports us in every way and is very much a part of it”.

The festival which prides itself on showcasing up and coming talent as well as the big names, is one of the most popular festivals of the year. Mr Butler added that the festival’s focus isn’t on the biggest CD seller that year, but on all the elements including art and music. Fans worried about using toilets throughout the festival need not worry as well as there will be 750 units on site for the weekend.

With rain forecast for some of the weekend, festival revellers are advised to bring wellies and rain gear, and maybe pack the suncream in the hope that the sun shines. For more information visit www.electricpicnic.ie see Leinster Express pages 28, 29 and 30.